عنوان مقاله [English]
The socio-economic developments in Iran and the world in the early 19th century CE which paved the way for cultural, social and artistic transformations in Iran on the one hand and the Qajar courtiers, some artisans and enlightened people’s inclination towards western art and culture which set the stage for the popularity of some European criteria and norms in this country on the other, had a profound impact on Iran’s traditional styles of culture and art. The influence of western art on the Persian miniature painting is more tangible because the traces of change in the extant Qajar works of art are more visible and comparable. The two characteristic examples for the metamorphosis of the Persian miniature painting in Qajar Period are the Gulistān Palace in Tehran and, on a smaller scale, the New Courtyard of the Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad. The New Court was constructed on the orders of Fatḥ ͑Ali Shah in AH 1233/1817-18 CE and the decorations, mostly Iranian haft rang (Persian: seven colours) tiles, were added later. These decorations, which were different from the ones applied in the past in terms of their essence, material quality and motifs, indicated ineptitude, negligence and decline despite the artists’ divergence from the past traditions and their inclination toward the West. The conceptual and mystical aspects of the motifs and colors are neglected and the sheer naturalism represented in the tiles’ images makes the viewer miss the opportunity to conceive, comment and interpret them. The predominant colors of blue and lajvardina, which used to symbolize water and sky and represent in-depth spiritual concepts in this sacred place, were replaced with garish colors of yellow, red and turquoise. This article examines the backgrounds and the reasons behind this transformation in the motifs and patterns of the New Courtyard tilework.